Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Government
January 27th, 2015
5:07
 

There’s a saying that the only things that are certain in life are death and TAXES.  For the vast majority of humans, the process of filing your personal or business taxes is something that is feared, dreaded, hated, avoided – you get the picture…

While e-filing has been in place in many countries for some time, here’s a story from BizTech Africa that highlights a less developed part of the ICT globe.  While it may not be news where you reside, this change is monumental for Gabon.  Technology makes its way across the planet at different paces, and can bring about events with impacts that ripple across continents.

Gabon businesses to pay tax online

 

Gabon map

The initiative, named et@x (https://www.etax.dgi.ga/home.seam) is aimed at helping Gabon catch up with other African countries and establishing Gabon’s reputation as providing high quality services for their business sector.

Are YOU part of an electronic revolution that hasn’t reached beyond your university?  How will you bring it to market and where?  You may be the life-changer that the world is waiting for!

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Those of a certain age will fondly remember the recorded messages left for Jim Phelps and his Impossible Missions team which self-destructed after being listened to.  And who hasn’t seen a TV episode or movie where a character is forced to eat a hastily scribbled message to keep others from reading it?  In the new digital age, pressing the delete key can wipe your thoughts from a screen so they are never actually communicated.  Maybe there are certain things that shouldn’t be kept forever…

Whether you think it’s a good thing or not, the printed page will fade over time, but here’s a twist on making the printed page cease to exist in a much shorter period of time!  From FOXNews Tech:

Scientists invent erasable printer paper

The “paper” (actually a film made of glass or plastic, Engadget reports, though a paper version is in the works) comes in red, blue, and green, and the printing process bleaches it where text doesn’t appear, instead of adding ink where it does. Exposure to oxygen eventually “erases” the text by returning the bleached sections to their original color.

American businesses are so entrenched in keeping hardcopy as ‘backup’; this game-changer could eliminate the rows of filing cabinets that people feel are key to their work function.  Reducing waste is a key component in becoming a Smarter Planet!

Any other potentially stagnant office materials that spring to mind? Can you bring your scientific knowledge to the party to find a reusable spin for their usage?

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January 22nd, 2015
11:28
 

Along with all of the latest buzz about asteroids following the December 3 launch of Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft, NewScientist has published an article describing the advances that have been made in space farming.

If you want to start a space farm, head for an asteroid. It seems there’s enough fertilizer zipping around the solar system to grow veg for generations of space colonizers – and researchers are already beginning to grow viable, edible plants in space.

Wieger Wamelink and colleagues at the Alterra research institute, part of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, reported this year that they grew a veritable salad – wheat, tomato, cress and mustard – for 50 days with no added nutrients. The plants even grew better in the simulated space soil than controls grown in poor quality Earth soil.

Asteroid soil is highly nutritious for plants, according to Michael Mautner of Lincoln University in New Zealand. He has grown edible plants directly in material from c-type asteroids, which fell to Earth in meteorites. He simply ground up the meteorite and added water.

I found this cute ad:

blog space garden

How does your garden grow?

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There has been a great deal of media attention focused on gun control in the U.S.  Accidental shootings have claimed the lives of children and parents.  Gun deaths of law enforcement officials have also been making headlines every day.  Whichever side of the argument you are on for gun regulation, you know that the legal proceedings following these events are complicated and costly (not to mention heart-wrenching!)

Here’s some tech that could prove very useful in cutting through the “he said…, she said…” of witness testimony – regardless of who the victim is.  A product beginning to come to market is a chip that can be inserted into the handle of a gun to deliver data about when a firearm is outside of its holster, when it’s fired, what direction it is pointing, and where it is located.  There will be controversy about it, that’s undeniable – do YOU have an idea for a product that might be an alternative?

See both sides of the argument about who needs protecting in these two articles…

Can these gun sensors keep cops safer?

 

Gun-Sensor Technology Could Make It Easier

to Hold Cops Accountable for Shootings

 

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January 13th, 2015
5:23
 

When we think of hydro-electric power, we usually envision massive structures – - mighty dams that pump vast amounts of water into energy production.  What if bigger isn’t always better?  Here’s a story out of Colorado in the United States that shows how you can be small and mighty!

“A fledgling industry is taking shape, focused on putting small electricity generation on already existing water infrastructure – known as small hydro.”  (Check out the related content links at the bottom of the story for more information…)

 

Small Hydro Is Renewable

 

Energy The New Congress

 

Might Just Get Behind

 

Colorado Dam


The outlet at Button Rock Dam on Ralph Price Reservoir, near Lyons, Colo.
Joe Mahoney Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

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